Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Expedition Cruising - Explorer

One of the most important aspects of your expedition to Antarctica is the ship that will take you there. Again for Travel Light small means beautiful. A smaller ship can get to places the larger vessels can't and with enough space on the zodiacs for all passengers you won't find yourself waiting in line to get your experience. Travel Light recommends GAP Adventure's ship Explorer, here's why

Few experiences match the adventure of shipboard travel - and none equal the exhilaration of sailing to the world's most remote and wild shores aboard our superb expedition ship, the legendary Explorer.

Expedition - the word conjures up images of the great explorers of old like Shackleton, Amundsen and Magellan who mapped the earth, and the modern scientific pioneers of today, who delve into its deepest scientific mysteries.

A voyage aboard G.A.P Adventures' M/S Explorer is an expedition in the truest sense of the word. Explorer goes where other ships cannot, where only a ship of her caliber could. At only 75 meters in length and equipped with an ice hardened double hull and a fleet of robust zodiacs, she is a go-anywhere ship for the go-anywhere traveller. With a veteran crew of polar mariners and an experienced expedition team of marine and avian biologists, geologists, historians and naturalists, these adventures are voyages of discovery to the far reaches of the globe with a quest for knowledge and authentic cultural and natural experiences as the driving forces.

Since 1990, G.A.P Adventures has specialized in a unique brand of small group adventure travel experiences. We strive to show you the real world, by taking you off the beaten track to the heart of the destination and to meet the locals who call it home. If you have a sense of adventure, a lust for life and a curiosity for culture, you will quickly find yourself addicted to the G.A.P Adventures Expedition style of travel. Explorer and her staff share this passion for new experiences and a history of off the beaten track exploration. We look forward to adding to that history in your company.

Cabin Re-Classification
We are pleased to announce exciting changes to our Expedition program aboard the M/S Explorer. Beginning with our April, 2008 departures, we will be modifying the way in which we classify our cabins, effectively reducing the number of categories from 8 to 5. We have made this decision in response to valuable feedback from our past travellers and agent partners who have encouraged G.A.P Adventures to align more closely with the classification system employed by the mainstream Cruise segment. Cabins images and descriptions are below.

Cabin Categories (effective April 2008)

Category 1
1 upper berth; 2 lower berths. Ensuite shower facilities. Porthole*.

Category 2
1 upper berth; 1 lower berth. En suite shower facilities. Porthole*.

Category 3
2 Twin lower berths. En suite shower facilities. Porthole*.

Category 4 (shown in photo)

2 Twin Lower berths; En suite facilities with shower; small window









Category 5

Lounge area; Queen bed; En suite facilities with showers; 2 picture windows; updated d├ęcor, TV/VCR; Amenities Program.

*Porthole will be covered during rough weather


IAATO Approved:
In April of 2006 G.A.P Adventures became a full member in IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators). IAATO was founded in 1991 to advocate, promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic and now represents about 95% of all annual tourists to Antarctica. In 1996 IAATO developed an independent Onboard Observer program to ensure that companies applying to become members meet their detailed and extensive regulations for visiting Antarctica. This past Antarctic season G.A.P Adventures carried one such observer onboard their M/S Explorer and met IAATO standards. Subsequent to this, G.A.P Adventures was voted in as full member to IAATO at their 17th annual meeting. IAATO developed a set of Guidelines for tourists to Antarctic, which were subsequently adopted by the Antarctic Treaty parties as part of their Environmental Protocol. It is both GAP's and IAATO's hope that our passengers will return home with a basic understanding of the continent and will be ambassadors for the Great White Continent.

Become Part of History...
The travel market is awash with shipboard travel options, but none compare to the experience of a journey aboard what polar adventurer, Sir Wally Herbert, called "the explorer's Explorer". Explorer was the first passenger ship to travel to Antarctica and the first to voyage south of the Antarctic Circle. Explorer was also the first passenger ship to make the journey through the Northwest Passage, the infamous, ice-covered Arctic waters connecting the Pacific and Atlantic. She has blazed a marine trail around the globe, earning accolades from passengers, ship enthusiasts and professionals alike - most recently from National Geographic Adventure magazine, which ranked our Antarctica adventures among their Top 25 Adventures of the Year.
"The most travelled vessel with the most varied record of natural wonders anywhere on the high seas."
- Keith Shackleton -

The Expedition Style of Travel...
Explorer travels in a yearly cycle from the icy realm of the great white continent, Antarctica, then across the oceans, making stops along the way to remote locations, before heading to the islands of the North Atlantic and Arctic. These destinations have inspired the bold explorers of old for centuries, and today inspire the modern wanderlusted traveller seeking a unique and authentic adventure experience. The imagination wanders at the very sound of their names, calling curious travellers to come experience unique ecosystems, stunning landscapes and fascinating cultures and histories.

A day onboard an Explorer expedition could have you tracking a pod of minke whales by zodiac in Antarctica, viewing polar bear on the ice off the bow in Spitsbergen, or exploring the deep fjords and remote Inuit villages of Greenland's rugged coastline. The focus of our time aboard Explorer will be on wildlife, culture, history and scenery, and on learning about our surroundings under the tutelage of seasoned experts such as marine biologists, naturalists, historians, anthropologists, geologists and photographers.

The Original Expedition Ship...
Dubbed "The Little Red Ship", Explorer was specifically designed for the rigours of expedition travel as well as the safety, comfort and convenience of her passengers. She was the first (and we still feel the best!) expedition ship ever constructed, not a converted freighter or research vessel. Her compact size, shallow draft and ice strengthened double hull were specifically designed for challenging marine environments and exploratory travel while her cabins and common areas were conceived for passenger comfort and enjoyment. All of Explorer's public areas were designed to hold everyone on the ship in one sitting; so there is no need for multiple meal and lecture shifts. Small, agile and stalwart, she is a go-anywhere ship for the go-anywhere traveller! And because Explorer is our ship, we are literally at the helm so we can ensure you'll experience a high caliber journey while benefiting from the affordable pricing you have come to expect from G.A.P Adventures.

Explorer Quick Facts
* lounge and onboard library
* fully outfitted lecture hall
* small gym, sauna and pool
* all cabins with private bath and outside view
* dining room serving international cuisine
* medical clinic and onboard doctor
* gift shop
* topside observation deck with 360-degree unobstructed view
* double, ice-hardened hull ice rating 1A1 ice A
* large fleet of Zodiacs with clean 4-stroke engines

Book all your unique adventures and travel experiences with the experts Travel Light
www.travellight.co.za

1 comment:

Andrew Yancy said...

I think Antarctica is a very unappreciated place for tourists. It's very interesting and unique place. The only porblem with Antarctic cruise are prices. It's very expensive, for example http://poseidonexpeditions.com/antarctica/. So you will think twice before purchase.